A legacy on the hardwood

The Harris family looks to build a tradition on the court in Camilla

A legacy on the hardwood
(Source: WALB)

ALBANY, Ga. (WALB) - If you keep in touch with GISA basketball, then you surely know of the Westwood Wildcats.

Lead by head coach Derrick Harris, his teams record, and titles speak for themselves.

But for him, it’s the simple things he cherishes the most.

Like coaches his two daughters.

“Yeah it’s very special," said Westwood head girls basketball coach Derrick Harris. "Try to be a coach only on the floor instead of a father. It’s very special because at the end of the day, they just bring out the passion, my passion of basketball.”

Of course, it’s hard to look to the sideline and not see your father.

But they have a hard time recalling a time, when he wasn’t behind their passion for the game.

“Well when my dad first brought me into the gym, when I was like 6 or 7," said Westwood freshman Destiny Harris. "You know, to help me out with basketball and I just started loving it from there.”

“It’s very special," said Westwood Junior Deerika Harris. "Genes, it runs through the family I guess.”

For Deerika, she’s got the honor of proving that her hard work has paid off.

As she’s one of two girls representing South Georgia on the McDonald’s All-America nominee list.

As for the boy’s side, there’s only one.

And lives right up the road at Mitchell County high school.

But she sees him at home, every day.

“It’s very cool," said Mitchell County junior Derrick Harris Jr. "Like, I’m the first one in the family. Well, besides my sister. It’s crazy.”

They can all recall a time when their father was a part of their passion for the game.

A moment they will always remember.

As for coach Harris, his came from a similar place.

“Well my dad coached," said coach Harris. "He was a coach at Mitchell County high school for 20 plus years. And that really motivated me to start coaching. And that’s what got us where we at now.”

These basketball stars hope to take this sport to new heights.

But wherever it takes them, they know that family is what helped build their passion for the sport they love.

Copyright 2020 WALB. All rights reserved.